If you're like me, you're a yarn hoarder—you hang onto every potentially usable scrap of yarn leftover from projects (or in some cases, your friends' projects…) because they could be useful, some day. Most notably, I have a bunch of scraps from past sock projects; little balls of fingering weight that will eventually (so I keep telling myself) end up in a blanket.
These days, though, I have a growing collection of scraps of heavier yarn. I suppose I could just make a lot of blankets, but then again, there are so many great projects out there that I could use for stash-busting and clearing out these scrappy bits of yarn, or the oddball single skeins that have found their way into my yarn collection with no real purpose.
Because of my hoarding tendencies (thankfully, this is pretty much limited to my yarn; I do not yet qualify for a tv show), I'm always on the lookout for projects that would make good stash busters. So I made a list of a few projects from our Knitscene Fall 2010 issue that would help me in my goal of stash-busting before the new year. And with the holidays around the corner, if you're looking for things to knit for friends and family members, maybe some of these projects could come in handy as last minute gifts, too!
I love colorwork projects, because there are so many variations possible by using different combinations of colors. Plus, if you're doing a stranded colorwork project, the extra strands of yarn will keep you toasty warm!
Marlaina Bird's Bryophyta Cowl and Mitts are perfect for using up bits of fingering weight yarn of various colors. Use all solids, or throw in a couple of variegated yarns for easy, no work color variations.
Amy Polcyn's Pop Quiz Mitts and Ann Weaver's Quantoid Hat are great for stash-busting if you have two of the same yarns in different colors. The corrugated ribbing in the Pop Quiz Mitts would also be a place to experiment with using a variegated yarn.
If you have single skeins of amazing yarns that "just followed you home one day," these projects are for you! Elinor Brown's Northumbria Cowl uses Madelinetosh Pashmina, a delicious blend of silk, cashmere, and merino. A similarly luxurious yarn would make this a great last-minute gift—especially if it's a gift for yourself!
The Xenocryst Hat from Linda Shelhamer looks fabulous in the slightly heathered Cascade 220 skein, but try it in a bright solid to make the cables pop, or a flecked tweed yarn for a different look.
Got any stash-busting tips or suggestions of your own? Let us know! Leave a comment below or drop me a line on Twitter.